Author Topic: Live Electrical Wire Falls Onto NJ Transit Train Filled With 1,000 Passengers  (Read 252 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/NJ-Transit-Train-Stopped-Overhead-Wires-Knocked-Tracks-Newark-Penn-239175261.html


Live Electrical Wire Falls Onto NJ Transit Train Filled With 1,000 Passengers
By Brynn Gingras
|  Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014  |  Updated 12:54 AM EST

A live electrical wire was knocked down onto a NJ Transit train filled with 1,000 passengers near Newark Penn Station Tuesday evening, officials say.

The New Brunswick-bound train, which originally left New York's Penn Station at 5:45 p.m., was stopped outside the tunnel near Newark Penn Station, according to officials. NJ Transit crews kept passengers on the train as they disabled the electrical wire and removed it.

Gary Woodruff of Metuchen, one of the passengers on board, said conductors told riders there was "a little bit of a problem. He said it might be 20 minutes, a half-hour. It ended up being an hour and 50 minutes."

"It was frustrating, everyone was frustrated, sighing the entire time," said another passenger.

The train was then pulled back to the station at around 8 p.m., and passengers were transferred to another train to continue their commute.

The transit agency says that the train was heated during the delay, but riders disputed that.

"I was feeling the heating system, it was probably 40 degrees," said Woodruff. "It felt like you were touching a piece of ice."

The stranded train led to delays of up to 45 minutes along the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast Line and Raritan Valley Line.

"This happens all the time. Jersey Transit, they should be embarrassed," said Woodruff.

"People are just tired, on the coldest day of the year this had to happen," said Tom Putko of Matawan.

It's not clear what caused the wire to go down, but officials are looking into whether wind and freezing temperatures played a role.
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Offline Fishrrman

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From the article:
[[ A live electrical wire was knocked down onto a NJ Transit train filled with 1,000 passengers near Newark Penn Station Tuesday evening, officials say. ]]

Well, it happens.

That would be the catenary wire which is supended over the tracks/trains. Normally carries 11,000 volts AC (25,000 between New Haven and Boston and on the NJ Rail lines that run out of Hoboken Terminal). It's usually about 4 feet above the roof of the coaches, but can be lower under bridges and through the tunnels into Penn Station.

Now and then something breaks, either in the wire or in the pantograph ("V-shaped device mounted on the roof to reach up the wire and make contact, looks more like this: > ). The pan gets tangled up in the wire and pulls it down. Usually a lot of arcing and sparking!

But as long as you're inside the train, you'll be fine, because the body of the train itself is grounded to the rails and the return current circuit.

One day I was heading west out of Bridgeport, just crossing into Fairfield. Something must have gotten torn off of the Metro-North train in front of me, because suddenly in front of me there was something hanging down off the wire, and ... BOOM! hit the engine next to the windshield in front of me, and bent back the contact shoe on the rear pan.

Dropped the pan, coasted to a stop. The rear pan was damaged but wasn't grounding out, so I raised the front one and got to Sunnyside in Queens (big passenger coach yard for Amtrak and NJ Rail), and they changed out the engine for the trip through the East River tunnel into Penn.

But 11,000 volts (actually 12,500 on the New Haven line) gets your attention when it grounds out on the other side of the winshield, about 36 inches away!
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 10:23:43 PM by Fishrrman »


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